Today in the Daily News, Paul Hagen writes about Brett Myers’ start yesterday, a 7IP, 0 ER performance against the Nationals.
In some ways, Myers was in a lose-lose situation last night. If he didn’t pitch well, the wolves would be nipping at his heels, demanding that he be removed from the rotation at once and maybe be made to stay after school and clean the erasers as well.
If he did, the cynics would be quick to say, sure, but he did it against a Nationals lineup that had scored a total of two runs in its previous four games, batting .133 as a team in the process. A team that has been shut out 15 times already this season. The only club in the National League to have scored less than 400 runs going into last night.
So all eyes will be on Myers when he makes his next start, Sunday in St. Louis. In the meantime, though, allowing just one unearned run on four hits defused what could have been a tense situation, which allowed him to talk freely about his hellish season.
This was a good start, just like Wednesday night was a cautious start. Hagen is right that all eyes will be on him Sunday night, but I see Sunday as the true indicator. If Myers goes out Sunday night, pitches seven and gives up a run, maybe two, we know we’re getting something better out of Myers.
But if he struggles Sunday, and if I’m Charlie Manuel, I shouldn’t be afraid to pull the plug yet again on the Myers carousel. A game like Sunday’s is a game the Phils will be playing 50 more times until the season ends, and they can’t afford much less than quality.